Araki surged into the joint lead with a sparkling 64 at the PGM MNRB Championship

Fri 14 Sep 2018

Araki surged into the joint lead with a sparkling 64 at the PGM MNRB Championship


Sarawak, Malaysia, September 14: Japan’s Yutaka Araki carded a blistering eight-under-par 64 to storm into the joint lead with local talent Shahriffuddin Ariffin, who recorded a 67 following the penultimate round of the PGM MNRB Championship on Friday.

The duo holds a slim one-shot lead on a 14-under-par 202 total over Asian Development Tour (ADT) rookie Justin De Los Santos of United States, who took third place following a 68 at the RM225,000 (approx. US$58,000) Asian Development Tour (ADT) event.

Finland’s Janne Kaske (68), a two-time ADT winner, sits in tied fourth position with Hamza Amin of Pakistan (66) on a 207 total while India’s Samarth Dwivedi and Thailand’s Nattawat Suvajanakorn take a share of sixth place with matching 70s at the Damai Golf and Country Club.

Araki, who came through Asian Tour Qualifying School this year with a tied-34th finish in the final stage, credited his new putter to his lowest round on the ADT this season.

“This is only my second week using this new putter. I decided to change it two weeks ago after I was struggling on the greens and it has been working so well for me,” said Araki.

The 38-year-old Araki made a fast charge in his first nine holes with five birdies for an outward 31. He reeled in six pars before closing out with three more birdies for an inward 33.

“Today was a good day and everything was working well for me. My tee shots were good but I was putting well and that was key to going low today.

“Tomorrow will be the first time I am playing in the final group in the final round this season and I am so excited to be in this position,” added the Japanese, who hails from Kobe.

Overnight co-leader Shahriffuddin, traded seven birdies against two bogeys, to stay on track for his second ADT victory, following his win at the PGM Labuan Championship just last month.

“I didn’t do too well on my first nine because I felt like my putting stroke wasn’t very good and I wasn’t staying committed to the lines. But after I crossed over, I listened to my caddy Shahrul, who told me to just stay focused on the speed and commit to each putt and I started to do better,” added the 18-year-old Shahriffuddin.

The winner of the PGM MNRB Championship will receive six OWGR points while the top six players and ties will also earn points based on a sliding scale.


Leading third round scores:

202 - Yutaka ARAKI (JPN) 69 69 64, Shahriffuddin ARIFFIN (MAS) 64 71 67

203 - Justin DE LOS SANTOS (USA) 67 68 68

207 - Hamza AMIN (PAK) 69 72 66, Janne KASKE (FIN) 69 70 68

208 - Samarth DWIVEDI (IND) 72 66 70, Nattawat SUVAJANAKORN (THA) 69 69 70

209 - Johnson POH (SGP) 70 69 70, Airil Rizman ZAHARI (MAS) 67 75 67, Itthipat BURANATANYARAT (THA) 69 69 71, Matt KILLEN (ENG) 68 69 72, Tarik CAN (USA) 66 71 72

About Asian Development Tour

The Asian Development Tour was launched in 2010 with the aim of creating a career pathway for professional golfers in Asia. Sanctioned by the Asian Tour, the Asian Development Tour will ultimately create a new playing platform for emerging stars from across Asia and around the world. Through the Asian Tour Qualifying School, players will qualify for the Asian Development Tour and enjoy the opportunity to hone their games and talent through a secondary circuit in Asia. Designed in the same structure as the Tour in America and European Challenge Tour, the Asian Development Tour is a stepping stone to the Asian Tour and the exciting world of international golf. The Asian Development Tour has been structured to ensure the best opportunities for its members. The leading seven players on the Asian Development Tour will earn coveted Asian Tour cards for the following season, ensuring a proper career pathway for aspiring professionals. All ADT events receive Official World Golf Ranking points.